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Bruno Canino was born in Naples, Italy in 1935, where he studied piano with Vincenzo Vitale. He continued his musical education in Milan, studying both piano and composition. His teachers included Enzo Calace and Bruno Bettinelli. In 1956 and again in 1958 he won prizes at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition and in 1960 at the Darmstadt competition.
Canino quickly established an international reputation, not only as a soloist but also as a chamber musician and an accompanist. Among those with whom he has appeared are the violinists Itzhak Perlman, Salvatore Accardo, Franco Mezzena, Viktoria Mullova, Pierre Amoyal and Uto Ughi and the cellist Lynn Harrell. He is the pianist of the celebrated Trio di Milano, together with the violinist Mariana Sîrbu and cellist Rocco Filippini.
He has been an enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music. Among the composers who have dedicated works to him are including Luciano Berio, Mauricio Kagel, Wolfgang Rihm and Iannis Xenakis. He has also composed a number of solo and chamber works for piano.
From 1999 to 2001 he was music director of the Biennale di Venezia.
Among Canino's notable recordings are the Bach Goldberg Variations, the complete piano works of Alfredo Casella and the first recording on compact disc of the complete piano works of Debussy. His duo recital with Viktoria Mullova of works by Prokofiev, Ravel, and Stravinsky was awarded the Edison Prize. In 1980, he recorded piano rarities by Rossini and Donizetti on a Bösendorfer Imperial Grand for the Japanese Camerata label.
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